Martin Luther King, Jr. day is a federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. and is also known as a National Day of Service. Social distancing may have us celebrating a bit differently this year; regardless we can still honor Dr. King’s legacy by commemorating this momentous day through community-oriented events, celebrations, and community service. These events are easy to attend virtually or with safety precautions in-person.
If you do decide to celebrate in person, be sure to do so responsible and adhere to any COVID-19 regulations or guidelines.
1. Tune Into a Virtual event That Honors Dr. King’s Legacy
Although the city is buzzing with very few in-person MLK Day celebrations, you can still honor the legacy of Dr. King by attending events online this year. This Martin Luther King Jr. Day., tune into events from the DuSable Museum, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and the Chicago Community Trust. If you want to attend an MLK Day event outside of Chicago, a virtual event is a perfect way to do so! You can also stream events such as the National Civil Rights Museum at the historic Lorraine Hotel or a host of other online events that also honor the legacy of Dr. King.
2. Actively Support Black Owned Businesses Throughout Chicago
Did you know that Dr. King spent a portion of his career fighting for justice and equality right here in Chicago? In 1965, Dr. King came to the city by invitation from the Chicago Freedom Movement, moving his family to what is now known as the Lawndale neighborhood on the Westside of Chicago. Dr. King, along with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and local leaders of this movement, worked together to end segregation in public schools, fight for fair housing, and improve blacks’ living conditions in Chicago. This MLK Day event actively supports black-owned businesses in Chicago. Because of Dr.King and other civil rights leaders’ actions, these businesses can open up shop anywhere they choose to in the city. For a list of black-owned business, visit resources such as the Black Mall, Black-Owned Chicago, and Black Shop Friday,
3. Volunteer In-Person or Virtually with Chicago Based Organizations
Celebrate the legacy of Dr. King by volunteering with a local Chicago organization. Organizations like City Year and My Block, My Hood, My City, celebrate this National Day of Service with various ways of giving back to the community. Both organizations offer in-person and virtual events and activities that connect the community safely. To learn more, visit their websites. Not seeing a volunteer opportunity that you like? Check out Chicago Cares, Volunteer Match, and One Good Deed Chicago. These websites provide year-long activities and service opportunities.